European stock markets close with profit
Was able to reduce damage in the final quarter of 2020. Sales and profit figures were better than expected.
This is because the offset group, the largest offset group affected by the epidemic, reported revenue of 14 million euros in the fourth quarter. 12 million euros in the third quarter – the loss of Aqfa’s largest division also surprised positively: -1 million more than the expected 8 million euros. There was a loss of 22 million euros throughout the year.
The market demand for printing sheets for advertising and newspapers is declining and the reduction in production capacity in line with cost savings is already bearing fruit. Factories in France and the UK will be closed.
Antfa exceeds the expected performance of offset and crosses the bar throughout the year. It should be noted that it was low as the imaging team reported blood-red results in previous quarters. Annual turnover was down 13 percent to 1. 1.71 billion, better than the expected 1. 1.69 billion. Operating profit – before restructuring costs and non-recurring results – was halved from 77 to 36 million euros. The consensus is based on 33 million euros.
What will this year bring? Another low first half of the year, Aqfa warns. A ‘significant recovery’ continues in the second half of the year in all sectors except radiology. There, the development of live (digital) radiography could not compensate for the shrinkage of traditional radiography (pictured).
CEO Pascal Jury reiterates that most actions will fully recover from the crisis in the medium term. They are also offered growth opportunities through post-Govt market developments such as the digitization of hospitals. On the other hand, the impact of the offset crisis cannot be fully offset.
After representation and pension fees, Aqfa is using its cash mountain directly for shareholders for the first time. The repurchase of up to 50 million own shares will begin on April 1st. More than 4 million shares held by Aqfa will be destroyed. The good news for the active owner (15%) and all stakeholders is that in this way profit is divided between lesser ‘mouths’.
After selling the crown jewel Healthcare ID to Italian Tedalus last year for 1 1 billion, Aqfa still has 400 400 million in the account. With this, the company first managed to cope with its high pension costs and debts.
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